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When you’re pregnant, heading to the hospital can be a time of great anxiety and anticipation. I’ve been asked many times, what did you pack in your hospital bag? Packing for your labor and delivery experience can be extremely nerve wrecking, especially when you’re not sure what to expect. Here’s what to pack in hospital bag for labor and delivery, including 7 things you’re probably forgetting (even if you’ve already packed).
What to Pack in Hospital Bag for Labor & Delivery
- Insurance Card & Drivers License
- Contact/phone list
- Copies of Birth Plan (if you created one)
- Water Bottle (hospitals sometimes provide one but it’s generally pretty small)
- Movies (our hospital has a DVD player) or other entertainment (laptop, books, etc)
- Snacks (Based on the time you deliver, food may not be readily available)
- Body Wash
- Face Wash or Wipes
- Hair Brush/hair ties
- Nursing Tank Top or Nightgown
- Make Up Bag
- Nursing Cover
- Boppy or Nursing Pillow
- Nursing Bra
- Slippers and/or Shower Shoes (the hospital usually provides socks if preferred)
- Outfit for you to wear home (remember you’ll still look 6 months pregnant)
- Bellefit Maternity Girdle (my must have for easy recovery)
- Outfit to Bring Home Baby
- Pacifier(s) (our hospital did NOT provide)
- Carseat (bonus if it’s already installed)
- Camera with fully charged battery
7 Things You’re Probably Forgetting
There are several items that aren’t really necessities but that I would consider must-haves to make the labor and delivery process a bit easier and more pleasant.
Lips get so dried out during labor, especially when you’re not able to eat or drink a lot. Having chapstick will be a life-saver!
Gum/Lifesaver Mints/Hard Candy
Since eating is not an option, gum, mints and hard candies will be your best friend. They provide a nice taste without actually filling your stomach.
With my first daughter, the nearest plug was about 6 feet from my bed in the recovery room. It was extremely aggravating to have my phone far away especially in the middle of the night if I needed to time nursing sessions, answer texts from friends/family or just needed to check the time. This time around, I have an extension cord packed so it won’t be an issue again!
Notepad (to keep track of events)
During my first labor experience, my mom would keep notes every time the doctor came in to check. Looking back, I had a great track of every detail throughout the delivery so that I could eventually write them down in my daughter’s baby book. The notebook also came in handy to write down questions I had for the doctor or lactation consultant or information they provided that was crucial to remember.
In general, hospitals are FREEZING cold and the blankets they provide are thin and not very warm. Bring an extra blanket for yourself (and for your husband) so that you can both rest comfortably (or as comfortably as possible in a hospital room).
A baby doesn’t come out of the womb and sleep well in an awkwardly quiet room. Just a fair warning, they probably won’t sleep well at ALL. Not to mention, you will be disturbed MULTIPLE times throughout the night, sometimes when baby has just fallen asleep. A sound machine can be a life-saver to help baby stay asleep during the chaos. I love this Sound Machine because it is portable and battery operated. We have three in our house and are definitely bringing one with us to the hospital.
Toss a few extra re-useable grocery bags in with your clothes. You will leave the hospital with so much more than when you arrive. Having extra bags make carrying all those gifts, flowers, extra supplies etc to the car. The hospital bills the insurance company for EVERYTHING. Make sure to clean out the baby cart (diapers, wipes, etc) and take as many pads and disposable underwear as they’ll give you.
Thank You Gifts for Nurses Hospital
It’s always a nice gesture to bring gifts for the nursing staff. Who doesn’t want to be on the nurses’ good side? Check out these gifts for labor and delivery nurses ideas. Assuming your hospital has 3 nurses per 12-hour shift, and you’ll be in the hospital for 48 hours, we brought 12 little gift bags to give away. This was the perfect amount. We mentioned the bags every time a new nurse would come in to introduce themselves. Some took them right away and others would come back to grab one at the end of their shift.
What You Absolutely WON’T Need
Go ahead and take these items out of your bag or packing pile because they will just waste space!
- Baby Stuff (diapers, wipes, etc) the hospital will provide more than enough!
- Underwear (you’ll prefer the disposable ones trust me)
- Hemorrhoid Ointment (hospital should provide)
- Baby Book (most hospitals give you footprint cards instead of stamping them on the baby book itself)
Mamas, what am I missing? What did you pack in your hospital bag? I would love to know what your experience was and what you needed (or didn’t need) for your labor and delivery hospital bag.